Jack Ashworth will join Leigh Centurions on loan from Huddersfield Giants

Leigh Centurions can confirm that they have entered into an agreement for a season-long loan swap with Huddersfield Giants that involves three players. This was originally agreed to be four players.

Jack Ashworth will join up with the Centurions with Nathan Peats and Nathan Peteru going the other way.

Ashworth, 25, was hugely impressive while playing four games for the Centurions early in the 2019 season, on dual registration from St Helens, earning heritage number #1479.

It was no surprise to anyone in the Leigh camp that he later played a big part in Saints’ successful campaign, featuring in the Betfred Challenge Cup Final defeat by Warrington Wolves and the Betfred Super League Grand Final victory over Salford Red Devils.

Ashworth went on to represent England Knights against Jamaica at the end of the 2019 season and moved to the Giants on a two-year contract in November 2020.

Leigh Centurions interim head coach Kurt Haggerty said: “Jack is a big, aggressive middle, who is also good defensively. He’s coming here to get game time and as long as he rips in, he should be in our 17 each week.

“He created a good impression the last time he was at Leigh and Derek (Beaumont) speaks highly of him. Jack has maybe not got the game time he was looking for at Huddersfield so far, but he’s a Super League professional and he will soon fit in here and adapt really quickly.”

Peteru, 29, played 11 games for the Centurions after joining the club from Hull Kingston Rovers. Formerly with Leeds Rhinos, the Auckland born forward played in the NRL for Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans.

Sydney born Peats, 30, who recently played for the All Stars in their victory over England at Warrington, is a former State of Origin hooker who played 11 games for Leigh, scoring one try. Formerly with South Sydney, Parramatta and Gold Coast he is closing in on 200 career appearances.

Club owner Derek Beaumont said: “We are actively trying to recruit to our squad and have been since getting the nod to take the 12th Super League place. We were agreeable to Huddersfield’s proposal and all players were spoken to and it seemed a good fit all round as we were receiving similar players, the values were similar in terms of the salary cap and it also gave us two more quota spots to assist with recruitment, given there is no movement in this country with clubs holding tight due to numbers and the fixture list everyone is faced with.

“I was hugely disappointed to learn that one of the Huddersfield players had decided not to continue with the arrangement which left us exposed this weekend for our fixture which as it happens has now been postponed. We did not feel it appropriate to then return one of our players, given they had already attended the club and that’s where their heads were at. 

“Furthermore, the paperwork was completed and lodged and did not permit a recall. Our difficult position becomes more difficult as a result of this but it is important only players who want to come to the club do, as there is nothing to be gained in having a player that doesn’t want to be here. 

“Fortunately we have agreed with two other players that it is not appropriate to identify at the moment and we have the benefit of the Challenge Cup weekend off to attempt to add more and I am already working hard to bring over players with the two additional spots I have and invest my money to do so. We will continue to do the best we can as a group despite everything that seems to be going against us.”